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The Slide Down of MRT

It is already 2016 and President Benigno S. Aquino III or "PNoy"'s term is about to end. This means that it is finally time to look back to all the achievements and failures his governance has done.

One major drawback of the president's term is the issue within the Metro Rail Transit or MRT. Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya's incompetence was a huge deal over the past years. From his never ending promises to bogus and midnight transactions, Abaya's failure as a secretary was all over the news. But how come he is still the secretary? That is the bigger question now.

As a regular commuter, I cannot utter my despair and anger at how the MRT turned out. Before, everything was tolerable but not it is a complete pain in the ass. Remember back in 2010, the Metro Pacific Group bought out the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC), private owner-builder of the railway, for an amount of $110 million with the hopes of expanding the services of the MRT. However, due to Abaya's incompetence, he didn't even bother replying or show any form of interest. Well I guess it's because it doesn't involve any personal interest. Now, 6 years later, we're worse. MRT has lost its charm. Where are the coaches that Secretary Abaya promised? Just look at how Abaya brought five family members at the 2013 APEC transport ministers’ meeting in Japan. Shady eh?

Abaya is really a face of someone who has no delicadeza. He has no guts at all. Instead of doing his job as the secretary, he failed miserably. Under his administration, we have seen the worst of the transit. What used to be the major mode of mass transportation in the metro, the MRT is now a complete hell. All thanks to Jun Abaya. So what's next for MRT? As long as Abaya is still in the position, it will continue sliding down the path and until it completely submerges into the pit of doom.

What do you think?

- Justin -


MRT: A Field of Broken Hope and Dreams

The countdown has already started and we're just a few days left before the years ends. But as the year comes to a close, I can't help but wonder: what happened to the MRT and LRT?

If I would describe MRT and LRT in a couple of words, it would have to be: A field of broken hope and dreams. In January this year, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) increased their fare matrix by almost twice the previous fare with the promise of a better service. But now that the year is about to end, where is now the so-called "better service"?

As a commuter who always ride the LRT, I have not seen any major improvement at all except for the removal of the old magnetic cards being replaced by the BEEP cards which can be tapped and used on all rail lines. Did this make things easier? on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 2. It also made me wonder, why did the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya focused on these machines instead of improving the coaches? And speaking of coaches, the new trains are expected to arrive by January next year after DOTC approved the the delivery of 48 new trains this June. But why did it took them so long? I have a theory in mind: since 2016 will be the election period, I can't help but think that Abaya will just put the burden on all these things he have failed to do onto the next DOTC secretary. Talk about incompetence to the highest level. I still don't know why he is still the DOTC secretary when clearly, he is an irresponsible person and he is not fit for the post. Was there something good he has done in DOTC as its secretary? I don't think so. He has done nothing but cause trouble and pain to all commuters. So now that he is giving away promises that improvement for MRT is on its way already, as long as he is the secretary, I doubt we will see any improvement at all.


- Justin -


Why Metro Manila Traffic is Indeed Fatal

"Metro Manila traffic is 'not fatal' or 'burdensome to the daily lives of the people.'", these were the words of Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya's televised comment regarding the horrible traffic situation in the metro. As someone who braves the everyday traffic, I find this comment very insulting. You can only say that because you don't face it every now and then. Total crap!

In a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, they revealed that Metro Manila traffic jams cost around $57 milion, that's P2.4 billion from the Philippine economy’s daily potential income. This is a great loss to both the workers and employers.

As a student, I have to face 2-3 hours of traffic going to school. Imagine this travel time. From Fairview, Caloocan City, it's the same travel time going to Morayta as well as going to Pampanga. Actually, it's much faster going to Pampanga than the former. With this, I can say that people like me are losing a lot of time where we could have spent it being productive at work or school.

So to Mr. Abaya, how can you say that the traffic is not fatal when it consumes a lot of our time? Is it because you don't have to go to EDSA? Have you even experienced travelling in EDSA? Well why not try it and let's see if you can still say those words.

Right after his controversial statement, Abaya apologized but mentioned that he will not explain as that means he is trying to defend himself which is another crappy thing to say. His apology is definitely not sincere,

Here's my challenge to the secretary: try going to Taft from Fairview and let's see what will happen next. You can either ride a bus or the mrt. Whatever your choice is, good luck and let's see what will happen to you.

I am not just speaking in behalf of myself but in behalf of everyone who faces this traffic jam. You should be ashamed of yourself Mr. Secretary. Really ashamed.

What are your thoughts on this?

- Justin -


The Failure of the MRT Bidding

It’s another year and MRT Line 3 is facing numerous issues over and over again. With propaganda strikes over the fare increase that happened as 2015 arrived, MRT Line 3 continues to rattle everyone’s mind but this time it’s about the bidding of the maintenance and operation of the train station.

If we will look back last year, the bidding failed big time. We can even remember when Sumimoto Corporation offered to provide the maintenance and operation services of the train. But it is still a big puzzle as to why Department of Transport and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya did not accept Sumimoto Corporation’s offer.

Looking back at last year’s events, the bidding ended in an enormous failure as companies failed to submit their offers. And now, as 2015 starts, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) has opened its doors again for bidding. But just like last year and the years before, it was yet another failure. But this time, there was no bidder. So what exactly is happening?

If I would be asked about my opinion regarding this issue, I can definitely say that DOTC is up to something. It’s either they want to delay the process or really prevent the private sector for getting the contract. Another issue we can relate this into is the time when Secretary Jun Abaya and his family and friends were involved in the mystery of the maintenance and operations of the MRT. It was found out that they were given the contract when clearly they were just a new company (which is most likely created for the sake of project). In the end, the MRT went on a disaster with numerous accidents happening within the last 2 years alone.

So the question is this: Why is the bidding such a failure? Are we seeing another case of mystery involving Abaya here? Or is it another issue connected to the buyout?

Questions arise as the MRT continues to face its horrors created by Secretary Jun Abaya. But one thing is clear in my opinion. Metro Rail Transit’s failure is because of the failure of Jun Abaya as a Secretary of the DOTC. Without Abaya in the picture, perhaps there is a better future for the Metro Rail Transit.

What do you think?


- Justin -


The Truth Behind the Fare Increase

It’s already the fourth week of January 2015 and the debate is still ongoing regarding the sudden fare increase of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 and 2.

Earlier this year, the fare increased by almost 100% as students like me faced the return of the classes. January 4 marked the date of the sudden increase that took all of us by surprise. If you would look closely at the data, the last significant increase was almost a decade ago and if I would be asked, I think it would be just fine to increase the fare as it is already time to upgrade the maintenance of operation of the trains. You can check out my stance on this on my previous posts.

However, as I dwell deeper into the issue, my stand on the case began to change and now I think that the fare increase was unjust, has no clear basis and is done for corruption purposes. How did I come up with this conclusion? Well just look at the facts that were presented.

When asked how they came up with the new fare matrix, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya were not able to explain clearly as well as present data that will support their case.

 Also, Secretary Jun Abaya failed to attend hearing at the Senate and gave “meeting with clients” as an excuse even though they were given information about the hearing date weeks before so they could prepare.

Another thing that we could look to is this question: Why does DOTC keep on pushing the buyout to happen? Well, it didn’t go well as they have planned as the Senate scrapped their petition for this but yeah, I still haven’t figured out why they keep on pushing for it. The most possible reason is that they want to full control of the train and most likely, they’ll just give the maintenance to a company they are in favor of just like what they did years ago.

At the end of the day, the fare increase was uncalled for and was not justified. When you look at it from a shallow perspective, one would think that it is just for upgrade purposes. But why do they need to increase the fare when in fact, they had the budget for it? What exactly happened??

What do you guys think?


- Justin -


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